The cherry tomato, an essential ingredient in Neapolitan cuisine, lends its name to Valley Stream’s newest Italian restaurant, Pomodorino Rosso.
Partners Antonio Bove and Carol Cesone are also the owners of Uva Rossa (red grape), which opened in Malverne in 2013. Cesone said that the menu at Pomodorino Rosso sticks much closer to the cooking of Campania (the region of which Naples is the capital) than Uva Rossa. “We’re trying to do old-style food with a new attitude,” she said.Bove, the executive chef of both restaurants, is from Caserta, about 25 miles north of Naples.
The menu includes such starters as a Siciliana salad of arugula, fennel and orange supremes, polpo alla Luciana (baked octopus with San Marzano tomatoes, olives and capers), anelli di capesante (sea scallops wrapped in bacon and served with balsamic mayonnaise). Among pastas are casarecce with shrimp and nduja (spicy pork spread) and calamarata in cartoccio (calamari-ring-shaped pasta baked in parchment with calamari and cherry tomatoes). Mains include grilled skirt steak with mushrooms and tomatoes and branzino stuffed with shrimp. Starters range from $9.50 to $16.50, pastas from $17.50 to $19.50, mains from $21.50 to $26.50.
Manning the shiny red wood-burning oven is Sal Apetino, the founding pizzaiolo of La Pala in Glen Cove who has done stints at Vivo Osteria in Glen Cove, Casa di Fratelli in Carle Place and Il Vecchio Forno in Huntington. Along with classics such as Margherita and quattro formaggio are more creative pies such as la Giovanna (zucchini, speck, buffalo mozzarella and sun-dried tomato). Pizzas range from $12.50 to $18.50.
There’s also something from the pizza oven called “il gioiello” (the jewel): a 10-ounce burger topped with black-pepper-infused mascarpone, bacon and caramelized tomatoes, sandwiched by a brioche bun and — somehow — wrapped in pizza dough and baked.
Pomodorino Rosso has an unusually extensive (and value-priced) wine list. There are more than two dozen wines by the glass (eight of them on tap for $9) plus an additional 35 in bottles. The list is primarily Italian, with a little California, France and Spain thrown in. Many smaller producers and less well-known grapes are represented.
The space, which consists of a dining room with a view of the pizza oven, a bar and a private room, is chic and lively. The restaurant is open for lunch Monday to Friday and dinner seven nights a week.
Pomodorino Rosso is at 47 Franklin Ave., Valley Stream, 516-812-6171, pomodorinorosso.com.